Fractal Design is a big fan of small, subtle modifications within its various lines of computer cases, or so it seems. At first glance, you might assume we are simply blowing some dust off the ol’ Fractal Design Define R4 and giving it a re-review. And we wouldn’t blame you for thinking so—the two cases look nearly identical.
Note: This review was originally featured in the August 2013 issue of the magazine.
We love Pure PC Power, and hate noise, so we set out to satisfy both primal desires with a hand-built and almost totally silent gaming PC
The Mission Powerful computer components often run hot, which requires loud fans or expensive liquid to cool them, bringing us to a central conundrum of the PC Power lifestyle—we want a big, powerful PC, but we want it to make as little noise as possible. Not only do noisy computers make it more difficult to relax, but there’s a principle at work here—you should be the master of the space where you put your PC; you must bend it to your will, not the other way around.
Note: This article was originally featured in the July 2013 issue of the magazine.
Puget Systems announced last week the creation of Puget Labs with grand plans to test and benchmark products, publish the results for all the world to see, and offer up explanations as to why a particular brand of RAM or hard drive or videocard or whatever didn't make the cut for one of the boutique builder's systems. Puget's goal is complete transparency between the system builder and its customers, and by taking this approach, we felt it was only a matter of time before the fireworks start to fly. It took just two days.
Looking for a noise-dampening cooling solution for your obnoxiously loud Xbox 360 console? A-Tech Fabriction might have just what you need, but after looking at the price tag, you may conclude it's not that loud anyway.
To be fair, the company's HeatSync Three-Sixty 'only' costs $700 (plus shipping, which runs around $25 for UPS Ground) without any add-ons. But should you decide you also want a one-piece rack mount faceplate, black or silver aluminum case feet, memory card ports, accessory ports, DVD drive isolation and machining (which attacks the main culprit of the Xbox 360's noisy cry for attention), and thermal control system, be prepared to tack on another $195, bringing the tally to just under 900 smackers. For $1,200, A-Tech Fabrication will ship the case with a complete Xbox 360 system already installed, or just under $1,400 with all of the aforementioned extras.
What you get in return is a rather attractive heavy-duty chassis constructed from heat-treated aircraft quality aluminum. And with both CPU and GPU cooling benefiting from the integrated cooling system, you might up your odds at staving off the dreaded Red Ring of Death. Just don't tell your significant other how much it costs, or she/he might ring your neck.
We’re always suspicious of cooling devices that promote their silent functionality. Quiet devices tend to use less-powerful fans or run normal fans at painfully slow speeds. And while this can do wonders for one’s hearing and general peace of mind, our reasonably noisy stock AMD cooler performs much better than the quieter devices we’ve tested.
Scythe is a newcomer to the U.S. cooling market, and is trying to establish itself as the go-to company for monstrous heatsinks that—like Zalman’s—offer quiet cooling. We reviewed the company’s Ninja Plus cooler in July, and were impressed by its silent operation. The Mine runs just as quiet, but suffers several major flaws.